Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: Secret Powers - More Songs About Her

Alright, I'm playing catch-up here... but there is something fitting about that fact. When I heard my first Secret Powers tune (the delightful "Tangerine" featured on 2011's International Pop Overthrow: Volume 14) they were already on album #4 with album #5 on the near horizon.

However, in the world of power pop "better late than never" is a motto which is certainly operational, and when it comes to More Songs About Her you will definitely will not want to be in the "never" camp. You've been warned.

The work of Jeff Lynne has been the common sonic touchstone running through all of the previous Secret Powers records, and you can certainly detect that influence here though it might be a little subdued compared to those earlier efforts. Indeed, when I am tempted to make comparisons with other material I find I'm more often comparing subject matter as opposed to how the song sounds. For example, "Dragon Slide" is Secret Powers doing their own personal version of "Helter Skelter." Or, there is "Suburban Fascination," a classy rocker casting a jaundiced eye over McMansion-land ala "Pleasant Valley Sunday." And, let's face it, when you write a jaunty pop song about Joseph Merrick ("Elephant Man") I'm gonna compare it to the only other pop song about Merrick I know (Webb Wilder's "Olde Elephant Man").

This album is filled with great up-tempo tracks, from the frenetic "Running at this Pace," to the marvelous "Not That Kind of Girl." Throw in the wonderfully tuneful "Telepathic" and the gloriously snappy "Drip Drop Drip," which somehow manages to be a non-creepy stalker song, and you have an album that will leaving you humming even after the last note fades.

Grade: A-

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